Australasia

Watching Out

Watching Out 1a Julian Burnside

reflections on justice and injustice Julian Burnside Praise for Watching Brief‘A fascinating read for anyone who burns with a passion for human decency and an interest in ethics.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘As we look up from the political abyss in these appalling times, Burnside is a glowing light on a distant hill. His writing is lucid, poignant, powerful. He distinguishes between law and justice, urging us to be both compassionate and analytical, collecting evidence, making rational conclusions, acting on them courageously, ... Read More »

Communities losing ground in war against liquor giants: experts

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More than three quarters of court cases where local communities are against big alcohol stores being built are being thrown out because judges do not have to consider the health impacts of… By medical reporter Sophie Scott ABC In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Sax Institute and the George Institute for Global Health found that in more than 75 per cent of cases across Australia, the courts found in favour of the… Professor Stephen Jan, from ... Read More »

Indonesian boy wrongfully jailed in WA adult prison for people smuggling has conviction overturned

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Ali Jasmin was 13 when detained by Australian authorities for cooking on a boat carrying asylum… Australian Associated Press The Guardian A young Indonesian man who served time in a Western Australian adult prison for people smuggling despite being a child at the time has had his conviction… Ali Jasmin, also known as Ali Yasmin, was a crew member on a boat transporting 55 Afghan asylum seekers and was aged 14 in December 2010 when he was sentenced as an ... Read More »

For Australia to prosper, free speech must be extended to all of us

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When I criticised representation in politics, Eric Abetz suggested I move to an Arab dictatorship. Yet a deep malaise exists in society and we need to talk about it Yassmin Abdel-Magied The Guardian Australia has all the ingredients for a flourishing, harmonious and inclusive society. We have incredible monetary wealth, with the longest streak of economic growth of any developed nation. We are home to the oldest continuous living civilisation, the source of millennia of… For Australia to… Read More »

Farmers join fight against Adani coalmine over environmental concerns

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More than 2,000 farmers and agriculture leaders express concern proposed Carmichael coalmine could affect groundwater, biodiversity and… Michael Slezak The Guardian A group of Australian farmers have joined the large coalition of groups fighting against Adani’s giant Carmichael coalmine, after they became concerned about the affects the mine would have on groundwater, biodiversity, rural communities and… Farmers for Climate Action – a group of more than 2,000 farmers and… Farmers join fight… Read More »

Denialism and blindness en masse

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Somewhere in an album at Mum’s place there’s a photo of me kneeling in front of George Pell as I’m confirmed an adult in the Catholic… Damien Williams Brisbane Times It was taken in 1994, when I was 11 years old. Pell was the local regional bishop, based in Mentone. I remember him speaking to the class beforehand about footy and the Richmond Tigers, about which I knew and cared… My real interests were in history and politics. The intersection ... Read More »

US Ambassador invites Kiwis to ‘grab a beer’

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The new US Ambassador to New Zealand has introduced himself to the country with a rendition of Cheap Trick’s ‘Surrender’ on his Fender electric guitar, displaying his musical talents to media in… JAMES O’DOHERTY, NEW ZEALAND BUREAU CHIEF SkyNews Scott Brown, a former Republican senator for Massachusetts, was one of the Trump administration’s first diplomatic appointments. He’s now arrived in New Zealand, taking up residence in Wellington’s Lower… US Ambassador invites… Read More »

We’re quick to label refugees as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but they’re all entitled to protection

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A refugee I met last year in Canada has been charged with beating his wife. The ensuing coverage has encapsulated the extremes of the immigration debate. Amos Roberts  The Guardian Man who beat wife said he didn’t know it was against the law,” read the headline. Underneath, a photo of a man I knew very well – a man I’d once sympathised with. A distinctive underbite, thick salt and pepper hair, olive skin. I read on, with mounting… We’re quick ... Read More »

Why do politicians get away with peddling porkies and ‘alternative facts’?

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Analysis In my house, if you claim to know something, you’d better be correct. It’s become a common reflex to ask whether the dispenser of facts is 100 per cent certain of their veracity. Emma Alberici ABC Such is the quest to be first with knowledge that serious familial opprobrium rains on those who dare to insist they’re right when they are not. So when I recently declared that I was 110 per cent confident that Uluru was the town ... Read More »

The Poisoned Chalice: Breakthrough WA Study Shines A Light On Global Water Contamination

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When deep-well bore water arrived in Australian bush communities people thought the big thirst was over. Jeff McMullen New Matilda Jeff McMullen reports that a decade long study shows unsafe water is now cutting lives short. If a baby is fed unsafe water contaminated with chemical nitrates, the child turns blue. The striking colouring occurs particularly around the eyes and… The Poisoned Chalice… Read More »

Home ownership remains strong in Australia but it masks other problems: Census data

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The great Australia dream of owning your own home is still alive despite the various problems plaguing housing affordability, new Census data shows. Wendy Stone Kath Hulse Margaret Reynolds Terry Burke The Conversation Even though the overall home ownership trend remains strong, it’s masking other issues. The latest 2016 Census data assesses what the national home ownership and rental rates are and how these vary location. It also gives us a picture of mortgage and… Home ownership remains… Read More »

Work for the dole racially discriminatory in remote areas, inquiry told

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Community development program forces Indigenous Australians into what should be fully paid jobs, legal groups say Helen Davidson in Darwin The Guardian The federal government’s remote work-for-the-dole scheme is racially discriminatory and fails to address the key issues behind high unemployment in remote Indigenous communities, legal… The Human Rights Law Centre and the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency both provided submissions to the… Work for the… Read More »

A tougher language test would punish women like my mother, who have lost everything

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My mother studied Australian history and politics for months to pass the citizenship test. It was painful, to say the least Abdul Karim Hekmat The Guardian It’s easy for an English-speaking, white politician to legislate a language test for Australian citizenship that even someone born in Australia would find hard to pass. The biggest impact would be on migrants or refugees – my mother, for example. Khal Bibi Hekmat never… A tougher language… Read More »

Jill Singer, passionate journalist was face of Today Tonight

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Jill Singer, who transformed news coverage when she hosted Today Tonight on Channel 7 in the mid-90s, has died of a rare heart and blood condition at the age of just 60. Peter Craven The Sydney Morning Herald She had extraordinary intelligence, courage and vivacity. She lived tremendously and always fought for the people and things she believed in. She was a great beauty with a lovely voice. Sometimes though she could sound like a… Jill Singer, passionate… Read More »

Chris Kourakis: Trashing judicial independence and the rule of law has grave consequences

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WHY is the independence of the judiciary important? In all spheres of life we depend on common agreement on ground rules which are well known in… Chris Kourakis The Advertiser We rightly complain if the goal posts are constantly changed. Without an ordered and level playing field, sporting games would become all-in… Ground rules only work if enforced by officials who know the rules, are independent and rational, and have the character to withstand outside… Chris Kourakis: Trashing… Read More »

A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

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Archaic abortion laws are still oppressing women in Australia. We should finally step up to medical developments and social expectations Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas The Guardian On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to… A health issue… Read More »